SAG-AFTRA Warns Members About Performing at MTV VMAs Without Contract in Place (Exclusive)

MTV VMAs 2017 (Credit: YouTube)

SAG-AFTRA has sent a letter to members warning them the union has yet to reach a new contract with Viacom, parent company of MTV, which could affect the upcoming MTV Video Music Awards.

The letter, dated June 29, said the union’s current contract with Viacom expires in August, a week before the VMAs are scheduled to take place.

“SAG-AFTRA’s contract with Viacom and other production companies covering awards programs for Viacom networks such as the MTV Video Music Awards and the Kids Choice Awards expires on August 13,” the union wrote in its letter, which is posted on its website.

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The communication went on to say contract negotiations are continuing. But if there’s no deal in place by the time the VMAs arrive on Aug. 20, members should avoid “accepting employment — as a host, awards presenter, singer, dancer, background actor, stand-in or any other performer category.”

The 2018 MTV Video Music Awards are scheduled to take place at Radio City Music Hall in New York. This will be the first time the show has been held in NYC since 2016.

The awards launched in New York in 1984, and were also held in the Big Apple in 1985, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2006,  according to the VMAs website.

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Last year’s show took place at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., and was hosted by Katy Perry. Kendrick Lamar won Video of the Year for HUMBLE.

After the VMAs return to New York was announced, Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomed the news.

“New York City’s creative energy has always fueled those who live and work here. This is where music, film, and art collide and where the Video Music Awards were born,” de Blasio said in a statement. “There is no better place to host the MTV VMAs than in New York City at one of the most iconic venues in the world.”

New York officials said the VMAs generate $50 million in economic activity, so it’s only natural that there is jockeying between cities to land the award show.